Fashion entrepreneur and shoe designer Ivanka Trump is being called out as a thief by high-end Italian footwear company Aquazzura. The footwear brand filed suit against Trump for allegedly stealing at least three of its designs and using them in her own, eponymous shoe line, the Huffington Post reports. Also named in the suit is Marc Fisher, the manufacturer Trump collaborates with, as well as two other companies. The suit accuses the companies of “repeated infringement” and “deceptive trade practices.”
One of the main complaints in Aquazzura’s suit, which was filed Tuesday in a Manhattan federal court, is related to the super-sexy Wild Thing shoe ($785), a fringy, high-heeled sandal that looks almost identical to Trump’s Hettie stiletto ($145), which sells through retailers like Bloomingdales, Lord and Taylor, and Nordstrom. Let’s compare the two designs below: fringe covered in the front, reddish orange, and an ankle-wrapped tie with tassels. We think they look pretty similar, but Aquazzura will have to let a judge decide.
Photos: Courtesy of Farfetch.com, left, and Pinterest, right
Before he filed the suit, the founding designer of Aquazzura, Edgardo Osorio, called out Trump’s supposed thievery during Paris Fashion Week on Instagram, writing, “One of the most disturbing things in the fashion industry is when someone blatantly steals your copyright designs and doesn’t care. You should know better. Shame on you @ivankatrump! Imitation is NOT the most sincere form of flattery.”
Osorio told Footwear News he has “nothing against Ivanka Trump” personally, but rather with the copycat culture of the women’s footwear industry. “I plan to do the same with Steve Madden and other people who have ripped us off,” he told the publication. “Even some of my direct competitors are copying me … Sometimes I look at the buys in department stores, and I see copies of my shoes. We need to be harder with our retailers. They need to protect us. You can’t cannibalize one business with another.”
Photos: Courtesy of Farfetch.com, left, and Lyst.com, right
Marc Fisher’s CFO, Matthew Burris, told Yahoo Style, “This is a baseless lawsuit aimed at generating publicity. The shoe in question is representative of a trending fashion style, is not subject to intellectual property law protection, and there are similar styles made by several major brands. The lawsuit is without merit, and we will vigorously defend ourselves against the claim.”